The Farmers’ Syndicate urged the interim government in a statement Sunday to provide sugarcane farmers with much needed water and to support Upper Egypt farmers.
“The farmer is the backbone of the state, and if the state does not take care of the farmer, there will be no agricultural production,” deputy of head of Farmers’ Syndicate for Upper Egypt Mohamed Roshdy Aboul Wafa told The Cairo Post.
Aboul Wafa added that farmers want the government to provide water for sugarcane crops in order to avoid a water shortage similar to the one that happened in 2013.
“Sugarcane is a seasonal crop, planted in January and harvested in December,” Aboul Wafa said, “but last year there was shortage which badly affected sugarcane production.”
He added that the farmers also called on the government to increase the current selling price of the crop to enable farmers to meet their needs.
Before the January 25 Revolution, Aboul Wafa said, government neglected the needs of farmers, such as securing water or establishing a syndicate.
But the situation changed after the revolution. “Four months after the January 25 Revolution, the farmers established their own syndicate on April 11, 2011,” said Aboul Wafa.
The government has not yet responded to the syndicate. Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdul Muttalib is set to fly Mondy to Addis Ababa, Capital of Ethiopia, in response to an invitation from his Ethiopian counterpart Alemayehu Tegenu, according to a ministry statement, to continue talks about the contentious Renaissance Dam, currently under construction on the Nile River. The dam will decrease the flow of water from the Nile to Egypt if diplomatic negotiations among Nile Basin countries do not find a middle ground.